My Journey from Miscarriage to Motherhood Day 7: At Last
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. (Psalm 127:3-5, ESV)
Five weeks before my due date, we were headed to a church service in a town about 30 minutes away from home (and an hour from the hospital). My husband, sister and her little boy were in the car when I felt the unmistakable feeling of my water breaking. I remember being puzzled and asking my husband to pull off into a parking lot so I could get a better sense of what was happening. It didn’t take long; we drove back to our house, got dry clothes and a last-minute overnight bag, and hightailed it to the hospital in Charlotte.
I was excited, yet concerned with the early arrival of our little boy. I knew once my water broke, birth had to take place in the next few days for the safety of my baby. Once we arrived and got checked in, my doctor gave me the needed lung surfactant to help protect my baby’s lungs, along with some antibiotics. Once I was examined, it was determined that my water had indeed broken, but I also was nowhere near ready to give birth (0% effaced and 0 cm dilated). So there was yet a lot of work for my body to do before it was delivery time.
I’ll spare you the details, but the next day, late in the afternoon, we got the “all clear” for delivery—our son was ready to make his entrance. After a few hours of pushing and the help of a vacuum that gave him a cone-shaped head for a day or two, we welcomed Bennett Graham McDonald into the world! Even five weeks early, he was perfectly healthy and whole, and I began a lifetime of love, looking at that precious face. What a tremendous blessing it was to finally hold my very own child. Nothing in life can really prepare you for the joy of it, especially after the journey we took to make it to this moment.
This all happened in my late 20s, and today, as I write this, I’m 50! God blessed me with another baby two years later, our wonderful, beautiful Madeline Ruth. Not all infertility stories end this way—I understand that. Our stories may have similarities, but also some differences. As believers, though, we do share one common thread: the hand of God in all of it. This gives us hope and peace, even when we are in those dark valleys. It helps us process “bad news” days, and gives us strength to push forward, one foot after the other, as we lean heavily on our Heavenly Father.
Life is a series of tragedies and triumphs. The older I get, the more I see how life needs those tragedies in order to keep our focus upward. If life were filled with only triumph, I would not recognize my need for God and my heart would grow spiritually cold. I don’t know what your situation is, or if infertility was ever a part of your story. But I hope if you have lived it, you had the Lord to walk you through it. Any of life’s hardships I’ve faced have been made lighter with His faithful presence—a true gift.
As I look back at the memories of miscarriage, I am deeply thankful for my children. I think it heightened my capacity to truly appreciate my kids and to enjoy being their mom. I also became more compassionate toward others who faced difficulties getting pregnant, especially those who could never carry their own child. I love, though, how being a mom isn’t contingent on a child’s having our own DNA. God has opened up so many couples to loving a child who wasn’t their own, biologically. Adoption is truly a wonderful gift, and for me, being a mom was always part of my calling, no matter what way God provided.
Being a parent is a tremendous blessing, and each day I’m alive, I’m so grateful for the gift of my children. I also look forward to the day I will meet our other two in Heaven. While I was not called to mother them here, they are real people who exist in the spiritual realm. They never knew sickness or sadness or the hurt of my parenting mistakes. They are perfectly whole and completely at peace with the Father. What a hope we have for those of us who know Christ—our parting is only temporary. But until that day when we are brought face to face, I’ll remember them. I’ll remember the lessons God taught me through them—and today, I’ll cherish the two He allowed me to mother. God is good, friends. All the time, He’s good.